Greyhounds Setting The Pace In BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse
Loyola has been the most impressive of the BIG EAST’s women’s lacrosse teams to date as the Greyhounds enter Sunday’s game against Denver as one of five unbeaten teams nationally. Loyola is off to a 7-0 start, including a pair of wins against top-10 opponents, and is ranked No. 6 in this week’s national coaches’ poll. Three other BIG EAST teams find themselves in the coaches’ top 20 this week as Syracuse is No. 11, Georgetown is No. 13 and Notre Dame is No. 17.
Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova Occupy Men’s Lacrosse Top 10
In just its second year as a formal playing league, the BIG EAST has established itself as one of the top men’s lacrosse conferences in the nation with three teams ranked in the top 10 of this week’s coaches’ poll. Syracuse leads the way as the Orange stand at 6-0 despite playing the top-rated schedule in the nation. Notre Dame, also unbeaten at 5-0, is No. 3 in this week’s poll as the Irish look to return to the NCAA title game for a second straight year. Villanova, meanwhile, checks in at No. 7 this week as the 7-1 Wildcats bring a six-game winning streak into Saturday’s BIG EAST showdown against Syracuse.
Georgetown Takes BIG EAST’s Best Baseball Record Into League Play
BIG EAST baseball teams entered the 2011 season with high expectations, with three teams that were ranked in the top 25 of the preseason polls. As conference play begins this week, however, it is Georgetown – the team that was picked 12th in the BIG EAST preseason coaches’ poll – that stands with the league’s best overall record. The Hoyas take a seven-game winning streak into Friday’s BIG EAST opener against Notre Dame and stand at 15-7 overall. Georgetown has been paced by outfielder Rand Ravnaas, who is hitting .409 with a BIG EAST-leading five home runs to go with 22 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.
Syracuse Has Best Softball Record Heading Into League Play
Conference play starts this week in BIG EAST softball as 11 of the league’s 13 teams begin the chase for the conference’s regular-season crown. Syracuse, which won its first BIG EAST title last season, is the first BIG EAST team to win 20 games this year as the Orange take a 21-5 overall mark into a three-game series at Rutgers. Syracuse is paced by pitcher Jenna Caira, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship, who leads the conference in innings pitched (116.1), strikeouts (122) and wins (12) thus far.
Notre Dame Boasts Highest-Ranked BIG EAST Golf Teams
The first BIG EAST championship event of the spring season is just three weeks away as the conference’s men’s and women’s golf teams descend on the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., April 16-19. Notre Dame’s men’s team, which has won six BIG EAST titles, is the highest-ranked BIG EAST program in this week’s Golfweek collegiate rankings as the Irish stand at No. 35 nationally. The Notre Dame women, who have won three BIG EAST titles, are ranked No. 24 nationally, while Louisville – the winner of the last two conference championships – is at No. 41. Louisville’s Sara-Maude Juneau – the 2010 BIG EAST individual champion – is ranked No. 15 in the Golfweek women’s rankings.
Notre Dame Tops BIG EAST Teams In Men’s and Women’s Tennis Rankings
Notre Dame stands as the highest-rated BIG EAST program in both the men’s and women’s editions of the March 22 College Tennis Online team rankings. The Irish women are No. 19 this week, while USF checks in at No. 38. The men’s rankings have Notre Dame at No. 25 and Louisville at No. 34. The individual player rankings have Notre Dame’s Kristy Frilling ranked at No. 3 in the women’s singles list and at No. 33 in doubles along with Shannon Mathews. On the men’s side, Louisville’s Austen Childs – last year’s NCAA singles runner-up – at No. 16 in singles and paired with Viktor Maksimcuk at No. 24 in doubles.
Louisville Rowing Scores Signature Win In Early Season
The BIG EAST rowing season begins in earnest this weekend with seven of the conference’s eight crews in action. Louisville has turned in the most impressive results to date as the Cardinals’ varsity eight went 2-2 at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, last weekend. The wins included a photo-finish victory against the top boat from 10th-ranked Wisconsin. The Cardinals face another tough challenge this week when they face No. 17 Dartmouth and Alabama in Knoxville, Tenn.